Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 4th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day and support a great cause!
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Job 3

Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the BibleBrown's Commentary

Verses 1-26

John Brown

Job 3

Job's Complaint

(Response to an insurance company) I am writing in response to your request for additional information regarding my claim. In block #3 of the accident form, I put "trying to do the job alone" as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient. I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weight 135 pounds. But to by surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull, and broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain . . . unable to stand . . . and watching the empty barrel six stories above me . . . I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came back down on me, and broke both my legs. I hope I have furnished the information you have required.


A. Job has "lost" it!

1. He lost it all materially.

2. He lost it all "family-wise."

3. He lost it all "health-wise."

4. He lost the love and support of his wife!

5. He has lost his own sense of worth and dignity.

6. He is losing his comprehension of God's justice.

7. And he thinks he has lost God's love!

a) Is it any wonder that this man who started out saying, ". . .Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job_1:21 : ends up saying, " Job_6:4 (NKJV) For the arrows of the Almighty [are] within me; My spirit drinks in their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me.

(1) In the "flesh" it is easy to understand how Job could feel this way.

(2) Many of us have felt the same way with far less "loss" in our lives!

(a) But, as we progress in our study, we will see that Job's focus and vision is much too narrow!

(b) And so is his understanding of the Lord!!


A. Job_3:1-5 (NKJV) After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his [birth].

2 And Job spoke, and said:

3 "May the day perish on which I was born, And the night [in] [which] it was said, `A male child is conceived.'

4 May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it.

5 May darkness and the shadow of death claim it; May a cloud settle on it; May the blackness of the day terrify it.

1. The after this referred to here is after the 7 days and nights of silence between Job and his friends.

a) Job finally breaks the silence with his first speech.

2. This is simply a pretty, poetic way of saying, "I wish I had never been born."

a) Have you ever said the same thing?

(1) Listen as he "articulates" how sorry he feels for himself.

B. Job_3:6 (NKJV) [As] [for] that night, may darkness seize it; May it not rejoice among the days of the year, May it not come into the number of the months.

Job_3:7 Oh, may that night be barren! May no joyful shout come into it!

Job_3:8 May those curse it who curse the day, Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan.

Job_3:9 May the stars of its morning be dark; May it look for light, but [have] none, And not see the dawning of the day;

Job_3:10 Because it did not shut up the doors of my [mother]'s womb, Nor hide sorrow from my eyes.

Job_3:11 "Why did I not die at birth? [Why] did I [not] perish when I came from the womb?

Job_3:12 Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse?

1. Isn't it ironic? We there are times in our lives when can identify with what Job is saying, but the reality is, his complaining isn't changing anything!!!

a) About the only thing that is being accomplished is the "venting" of his anger.

(1) He is not changing the circumstances, his condition, nor God's will, but he is determined to let his friends know how he feels!

(2) If we are honest with ourselves, as we look back at the times we have complained the most, it did very little to change our circumstances.

(a) In most cases, it only made more of a mess that we had to go back latter and clean up!!

(i) Apologies, repentance, etc.

C. Job_3:13 (NKJV) For now I would have lain still and been quiet, I would have been asleep; Then I would have been at rest

Job_3:14 With kings and counselors of the earth, Who built ruins for themselves,

Job_3:15 Or with princes who had gold, Who filled their houses [with] silver;

Job_3:16 Or [why] was I not hidden like a stillborn child, Like infants who never saw light?

1. These are Job's 2 great wishes of this chapter:

a) That he had not been born,

b) And that even though he was born he wishes that he had been stillborn.

(1) Job, at this point in his life, sees death as a relief from his pain!

D. Job_3:17 (NKJV) There the wicked cease [from] troubling, And there the weary are at rest.

Job_3:18 [There] the prisoners rest together; They do not hear the voice of the oppressor.

Job_3:19 The small and great are there, And the servant [is] free from his master.

Job_3:20 "Why is light given to him who is in misery, And life to the bitter of soul,

Job_3:21 Who long for death, but it does not [come], And search for it more than hidden treasures;

Job_3:22 Who rejoice exceedingly, [And] are glad when they can find the grave?

Job_3:23 [Why] [is] [light] [given] to a man whose way is hidden, And whom God has hedged in?

Job_3:24 For my sighing comes before I eat, And my groanings pour out like water.

1. Are you picking up that Job sees death as the "great equalizer?"

a) In fact, he compares it to hidden treasures in verse 21!

b) Right now, he would prefer it to life.

(1) Job has definitely "lost it."

(a) He has lost his purpose for life.

(i) He has lost his sense of God's justice.

(ii) And most importantly, he has lost his sense of God's purpose in his life.

(iii) At this point in his suffering, he can see absolutely no reason for living!!

E. Job_3:25 (NKJV) For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.

Job_3:26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes."

1. Job reveals a little bit of his heart to us here.

a) Even when he was living like a millionaire, he was living in fear!

b) Everything around him was going great, but deep inside, Job's greatest fear was that he would lose it all!!

2. Does this sound familiar?

a) We too can be "living large" and yet living in fear.

(1) We can have a good job, a nice car, the house on the hill - with our family at our side and still be incomplete and fearful.

(2) In fact, like Job, our greatest fear may be that the Lord will take it all away.


A. We have already established that Job was a Godly man . . . one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, Job_2:3

1. The Lord had reassured us that Job loved Him and was doing all the "right" things in life!

2. God was blessing his life beyond his wildest dreams.

3. Yet, Job tells us that in the middle of all that, he was living in fear!

B. If it can happen to Job it can happen to any of us.

1. So, how does a Christian learn to learn to live his/her life to the fullest enjoying the things the Lord had provided without fear?

a) There are a few things God's Word points out that we quickly forget and need to remind ourselves of throughout life:

(1) Exo_34:14 (NKJV) `(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God),

(a) He will not tolerate any of His children loving anyone nor anything more that Him!

(b) Yet, He knows that many people and things will seek to take this place in our lives.

(c) As His children, if we feel or see anyone or anything doing this, we must run from it!

(i) So, one of the ways for us to avoid what Job is feeling in this Chapter is love the Lord, not the things provided by Him!!

(2) 1Ch_29:15 (NKJV) For we [are] aliens and pilgrims before You, As [were] all our fathers; Our days on earth [are] as a shadow, And without hope.

(a) If we remember that we are aliens and pilgrims, just "passing through" it will help us not to allow other things to replace the Lord in our lives!

(i) Step 2 in avoiding Job's despair is to live with our focus on heaven and eternity, not the here and now.

(3) 1Jn_2:15 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn_2:16 For all that [is] in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.

1Jn_2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

(a) If we place our trust and love in things that are passing away, that act buy its very nature, will cause insecurity and fear.

(b) The only security blanket we were ever meant to have is the Lord Himself!

(i) Step 3 - Make it your life's purpose to love the Lord, not to accumulate things!!

(ii) Most people, even Christians, spend more time working and entertaining themselves than they do learning about Whom they will spend eternity with!!!!!!

(c) And that bring me to the 4th and final step in avoiding Job's feeling of self-pity and despair:

(i) If we really know Him, then we can trust Him!

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before -- such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.

People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused. "This horse is not a horse to me," he would tell them. "It is a person How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend?" The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.

One morning he found that the horse was not in the stable. All the village came to see him. "You old fool," they scoffed, "we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever hope to protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone, and you've been cursed with misfortune."

The old man responded, "Don't speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I've been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?"

The people contested, "Don't make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact is that your horse is gone is a curse."

The old man spoke again. "All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don't know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can't say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?"

The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn't, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, an old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. he lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.

After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn't been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him. Once again the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. "Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us."

The man responded, "Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don't judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of a phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?

"Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is a fragment! Don't say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don't."

"Maybe the old man is right," they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned with one horse. With a little bit of work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.

The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.

"You were right," they said. "You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever."

The old man spoke again. "You people are obsessed with judging. Don't go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments."

It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.

"You were right, old man," they wept. "God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son's accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever."

The old man spoke again. "It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this: Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows."

In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado Word Publishing, 1991 Page 144-147

Bibliographical Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Job 3". Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jbs/job-3.html.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile